April 17, 2019 we wake up early and ready to travel to Guatemala. We load up into the car and make our way to the San Ysidro/Tijuana Airport. Arriving to the airport bridge entrance, we fill out the necessary travel documents and proceed to cross over the bridge to Mexico.
As we walk through immigration I get my very first stamp in my passport. We drop off our luggage and proceed to walk through airport security. Once inside the Tijuana Airport and travel nerves a little more relaxed, we look for some breakfast. Our bellies satisfied and veins full of caffeine, we continue to find seats while we wait for our first flight. As we wait, we reminisce on memories and run through the details for our travel day. Once our flight arrives, we find our seats and get comfortable for the 4-hour flight to Mexico City Airport. The first hour or so I read my book and eventually fall asleep for the remaining of the flight.
Landing in Mexico City we make our way through their massive airport terminal and find our gate where we are to fly out of in the next two hours. We are told to keep an eye out on the flight information screens in case there is a change, and turns out that our gate gets changed about 10 terminals down. We haul ass to the new gate to catch the terminal bus to take us out to the airplane. We wait in the takeoff line for about an hour until we are finally up in the air.
Two hours later, and four hours ahead, we land in Guatemala City. A little later than intended, we are ready to stretch our limbs. As we get off the terminal we come to a big sign that says: “Bienvenidos a Guatemala”. We take our pictures by the sign then proceed to fill out the immigration papers for Guatemala before grabbing our luggae. Luggage in hand, we head towards the outside doors, where we walk through immigration--marking the second stamp on my passport. My Mama’s cousin, also my Tio, picks us up from the airport. I have never met my Tio and this was the first time in 30+ years that my Mama and he had seen each other. This would be the beginning of many new introductions to the family we will meet on this trip
It’s an hour of a half drive to get to our destination, Antigua Guatemala. Once we arrive in the little village it is hard to see the beauty that is to come the next day. The major difference you automatically notice however, is the smooth pavement to a cobblestone road. We arrive at the house of my Tia Bety, our hostess for the week, and come upon a beautiful set of doors that open up to a beautiful courtyard shared by two other homes.
We are warmly welcomed by my Tia before she leads us through her beautiful Spanish-style home. Her home opens up to a beautiful outside patio with a grass area and a concrete fountain. As you turn into the corner you are presented with beautiful Spanish glass wooden-framed doors that lead to the inside of the house. A Spanish style staircase that leads to the upstairs and another small pair of stairs leads to the downstairs bathroom. On your left, you are presented into a lavish open living room and a beautiful bright dining room with a large wooden mahogany table. To the left of the dining room, you are welcomed to the high ceiling kitchen with detailed wooden cabinets, a full sink, and plenty of counter space. A window and door leading out to another outdoor patio with a wash sink, washer and dryer, and another small bedroom, which I believe was originally built for a housemaid.
My Tia is kind enough to have some food ready for us to devour and then leads us to the room we will be living in for the next week. As we climb the stairs, the first thing you see is a spiral staircase that leads up to a roof deck where there is a view of Volcan de Fuego and Volcan de Agua. The uniqueness about this house is that everything is very open and everything eventually leads you back to an outside patio.
Our room is adorned with two queen sized beds with iron bed frames, a large-sized chest chair and two lounge chairs on the side. The size of this room represents your typical two-bed hotel room. We are directed to the bathroom we will be using around the corner of the bedroom located between two other massive bedrooms.
Settling into our room and waiting on our turn for the bathroom, we take in the warm quiet night of the pueblo. Once everyone is showered, we settle into our beds ready for some shut eye. Drifting off to sleep, I'm filled with excitement to see what the next day will bring in Antigua.